” The natural beauty of the trees attracts visitors from far and wide as they burst forth in blazing magnificent color. The trees truly show us how beautiful ‘letting go’ can be! “
As we enter the final quarter of the year, we can’t help but wistfully long for the halcyon days of summer. However, there’s a sweet resignation to the start of autumn and the restorative and restful effect it has on us—mind, body, and soul. Fall is so much more than pumpkin spice and bonfires, although those things certainly boost our enjoyment of this beloved season in the Midwest.Read More
The age of living like a local…on vacation, is HERE!
Places. Placemaking. The magic of place! No matter which way you say it, if you’ve discovered the splendor of traveling to new places, lived the local life (yes, with their locals), eaten the food from their favorite restaurants or take-out spots, and explored natural landscapes and culture while avoiding the camera-flashing bus-tour vibe of yesterday (yes, that big city tour for the masses is fading away), then you’ll know why hundreds and thousands of Americans are getting themselves into a trip about the new trend of vacation rental property.
On the other hand…
…if you’re still wondering what this new buzzword – vacation rentals, is all about, then stay on board because you’re about to taste something amazing!
Matt Landau, travel writer and Vacation Rental Marketing Blog (VRMB), calls it The Sense of Place. Taking a traditional vacation is, well, it’s a vacation – and you can have fun on a traditional vacation, but you SIMPLY WILL NOT gain the rich Sense of Place that can be achieved from “living” like a local.
But, what’s the big buzz about? Can there really be THAT big of a difference?
Oh yes! You’ve heard of the traditional summer vacation at on the coast. You’ve seen countless ads promoting summer vacation packages for a yet another 7-day vacation to the Outer Banks of one place, to the coastal air of another, and still to the grandiose views of a given hotel near Mount Somewhere-or-other – right?
Live like a local…only you’ll be away from the humdrum of everyday
Right! But we’d bet money on saying that, for anyone that’s taken one of these offers or booked their own getaway or vacation in America’s ‘favorite’ destinations, they’ve missed the feeling of living, breathing, eating, socializing and enjoying the local life, just as if they were at home…but away on vacation. Why? Because they were not part-and-parcel of the local life from the time they arrived…and by the time they departed for the (usually) long journey home, they had not developed the sense of place that they could have achieved if they had rubbed shoulders with friendly locals-in-the-know from the get go! You see, it all comes down to the experience of the Place – and not the commercial tourist’s plastic and napkin affair, which never really gets them out of the lobby, so to speak.
But the new trend of Vacation Rental Properties changes ALL this!
Imagine that you discover (perhaps by reading or watching an ad, or on social media, or through an enamored friend or family member), that Ottawa, Yes Ottawa in ILLINOIS, holds some gorgeous small-town charm. You do a bit of web surfing and learn that the town, along with Heritage Harbor, it’s world-class marina resort and settlement, is in the heart of breathtaking Starved Rock Country where historic happenings dating back hundreds of years took place. And, you decide, “I want to take a vacation there!”
A fresh perspective on Vacations, OR Traditional (slightly over-commercialized) same-old
From this point on, one of two things happens: Either you go the traditional route, making reservations at a brand chain hotel in the area, OR you catch the magic train of Vacation Rentals, and you get in touch with Heritage Harbor’s, Harbor Inn.
Let’s just give you the benefit of the doubt, and say that you opted for the latter rather than the former (to get that sense of Place, and all that)…
Friendly locals help you to live life like they do, while you’re on vacation
Speak to a proud local from the very beginning
You would be called and greeted by a friendly voice on the other side of the line, who would take the trouble to get to know you just a bit, only to ensure that you were placed in the right cottage, villa or home, and that you had close and convenient access to the craft, facilities and amenities that were most suitable to you. A detailed guide for What to do in Starved Rock Country would be shared with you, and you would receive helpful trip tips and things to think of if you’re going to get the best of Starved Rock Country.
Be part of the community in a natural, unforced and refreshing way
On arrival, you’d be no different than any other homeowner on the Heritage Harbor development. You’d be part of a warm and friendly neighborhood, you’d have your freedom to move yet you’d receive countless greetings and offers of help, not just from the Harbor Inn’s friendly staff, but also from residents and other vacationers.
The daydream-come-true continues
To carry on the daydream (but one that comes true every day for vacationers across the Midwest)…it wouldn’t be long before you were heading up to Red Dog Grill for a meal or refreshment with newfound friends, paddling out on the blissful Illinois Waterway with someone who had been a few times more than you, or venturing out with a local into Starved Rock Country for an exploratory hike, a daring skydiving adventure, or just to watch the Bald Eagles doing life in the winter. Can you see how vacation rental properties are transforming vacations yet?
Vacation Rental homes are Inn
The days of hotel rooms in high-rise buildings are fading away somewhat. Couples and families across the US are now drawn to vacation homes like bees to honey, and it’s not difficult to see what all the buzz is about!
AirBnB’s vast Vacation Rentals arm is probably the main reason they have grown as they have…and here’s the thing: people want to vacation in homes where they can explore as a local and experience the authentic appeal of special places. Traditional hotels are for visitors, outsiders and travelers, and are full of do-not-disturb signs that offer you little more than an in-your-face reminder that you are not at home.
Share the vacation bliss by renting your home to vacationers
What about you? Are you one of the lucky ones that own a vacation house, cottage or villa in a beautiful place? If you are, you’ll want to give some thought to placing your property on a vacation rental management program so that you can seize the opportunity of earning a second income, or at least covering a decent portion of that mortgage repayment every month. More than that, you can still enjoy your vacation spot at your leisure by communicating the dates of your stay with the rental manager in advance. It’s the new, hassle-free way to get the most out of your vacation property, both from a lifestyle and financial point of view. Heritage Harbor and The Harbor Inn, makes owning a vacation rental cottage a breeze; with grass cuttings, snow removal and landscaping being maintained by the home owner’s association, an optional general cottage maintenance program; and guests stays being managed by The Harbor Inn. It doesn’t get easier than this.
Come on – the Vacation Rental adventure awaits!
EXPERIENCE VALENTINE’S DAY IN STARVED ROCK COUNTRY, ILLINOIS
Right here at Heritage Harbor Ottawa
If valleys and hills could sing, Starved Rock Country would be an endless song of bravery, passion and fortitude. Singing with chivalrous forté and gentle
piano, many a story of valiant love and bravado would resound from the region’s many breathtaking rocky heights and mystical river settings.
And speaking of breathtaking…
So here’s the thing – Valentine’s Day’s a-comin’!
You’re running out of time? You’re looking for some good suggestions and hints that will help you
to arrange that perfect Valentine’s Day experience for you and your special somebody?
Got it! Well, best we get on with it before it’s too late. After all, if all is fair in love and war, then you
don’t want to be making it easy for your competition. Just saying 😉
Dreaming and Dining with St. Valentine in Starved Rock Country
If you’re looking for a Valentine’s Day getaway, and you’re…let’s just say it…Romantic…then you may want to get the low-down on what is on offer for you in and around Illinois this February 14!
Heritage Harbor Ottawa: Your first stop, and the fast-becoming first-love of Ottawa Illinois Valentine vibes just 90-minutes from the ‘burbs
Heritage Harbor Ottawa is a master-planned resort development in Ottawa, Illinois.
Located just 90 minutes from Chicago, the development is quickly becoming a favorite for boaters and watersport enthusiasts in the fall and summer months, and for birders and romantics in the winter and spring months.
Love is in the air, and vacation rentals are on the winter water’s edge…
The vacation rental cottages and reunion homes that are available at Heritage Harbor are nestled beautifully around a master-planned marina resort. Surrounded by the untouched natural beauty of a winter wonderland setting, your soul will be awakened by the call of the Bald Eagles teeming in the skies in February month.
Dining with red hot love
Whisk your Love into the warmth and exuberance of the “Dine With Us” Valentine’s Evening at Heritage Harbor’s Red Dog Grilll – a fine restaurant run by fine chefs with a fine set of culinary skills that will set flame to your special time away. Book now to secure your table and prepare for an unforgettably romantic dining experience.
Here’s 4 Helpful Valentine’s Day Ideas for a Day-Night Stay in and Around Starved Rock Country
1. August Hill Winery and the Illinois Sparkling Company
Run by a notable winemaker, Mark Wenzel, August Hill Winer will give you a sip and a taste (and maybe more) of the locally
cultivated August Hill range of wines.
If you and your Valentine are more into the sparkle, the Illinois Sparkling Company will also scintillate your palates with their traditionally-made sparkling wine that would put any French Champagne through its paces.
If you’re inclined to take a wine tasting tour, make a loop past the Illinois River Winery and Clarks Run Creek Gifts and Wine Tasting. Who knows, you may leave as the new member of one or more wine clubs offered by these wineries (depending, of course, on how far your tasting endeavors went ;)).
2. Cosy up and gaze up at Starved Rock Bald Eagles
The Bald Eagles arrive in Starved Rock country in December and don’t leave until March. So, if you and your mate are up for a bit of fresh air on your face and the dreamy settings of white-headed raptors soaring in the skies, communing in the bare trees on snow-white backgrounds, and frolicking on the ice, you’d do no better than to book your stay at Heritage Harbor Ottawa or one of the other vacation rental options in Ottawa or Utica – who knows, you may be overtaken by the Valentine spirit and do some frolicking of your own ☺!
3. A romantic escape to a 19th Century mansion
For a tasteful sojourn into old-style chivalry and honor, walk arm in arm with your love on the winding paths of the Hegeler Carus Mansion property. Hear, read and immerse yourselves in the romantic yet true and historic journey of the Hegeler and Carus families who lived and flourished in the mansion from the late 1800s until 2004.
Shop the Hegeler and Carus look, if you really care to do so, or simply allow your imagination to run free as you tour the mansion, browse its quaint and captivating little shops, explore its many nooks and crannies, and finish off with a delightful meal at its in-house (no pun intended, but let’s just leave it there if you please) restaurant.
4. The heart of starved rock – Starved Rock State Park
As we mentioned, Starved Rock is charged with the bravery, passion and loyalty of some of the First Nation tribes that were indigenous to the area. A Valentine’s Day and night stay in Starved Rock Country would be incomplete without taking a turn at Starved Rock State Park to experience the natural beauty, rich and
intriguing history, and open-air freedom of what we have all come to know and love as Starved Rock Country.
Take a trolley tour that will give you Bald Eagle views from the warmth of a heated vehicle (the weather may make a walking tour unpleasant). While you’re about it, you’ll learn about the great clash between the Illinois and Ottawa tribes, their loyalty, courage and fight, and the way this epic event was forever marked in time. You’ll love your time spent together, and you’ll love that you chose to celebrate love right here in Starved Rock Country, Ottawa, Illinois.
The Heritage Harbor Team
3 Tips – Be Here, Bring your Best Binoculars, and Respect the Eagle!
You’re floating effortlessly on an anti-gravity, 8-foot wingspan at ten thousand feet above Illinois Starved Rock Country. Gentle winds slip past your aerodynamic form and, in the perfect silence, the sun’s radiant energy is as loud as your favorite song…
Awaken the eagle in you as you experience the Bald Eagle in Starved Rock Country this winter…
For millennia the human race has held an innate fascination with eagles. No less the Bald Eagle that frequents the winter skies of Starved Rock Country near Chicagoland. So we thought that, since Bald Eagle season is hear in Illinois, let’s revisit a few helpful basics when scanning the skies and timber skylines for this magnificent raptor that means so much to us Americans.
Tip#1 – Don’t be a stranger in Starved Rock Country as you scan the plains for Bald Eagles
Yes, that’s us inviting you to make a trip of it!
Most birders with a passion for Bald Eagles would agree that, apart from Alaska, Starved Rock Country presents the most attractive Bald Eagle-watching opportunity. In the winter months we grab our gear and head out for a few days to get our annual Bald Eagle fix along the Illinois Waterway where these raptors hunt for fish and other prey.
For many, Ottawa (Illinois) would be the preferred destination to do just that. We’ve fallen in love with the friendly community, rich natural beauty, and literally hundreds of Bald Eagles calling our focus to the skies.
Reviews on TripAdvisor for Starved Rock State Park bear witness to this with thousands of positive reviews, certificates of excellence and photographs to convince you of the same! Check out some of the Vacation Rental opportunities at Heritage Harbor Ottawa to take your Starved Rock Country experience to whole new heights!
Tip #2 – Be sure to fly with the eagles in high definition!
Perched on the edge of the Illinois Waterway not far from his Harbor Cottage at Heritage Harbor in Ottawa, Illinois, one Bald Eagle fanatic is mesmerized by yet another siting of this magnificent bird of prey. He is fortunate enough to view the unfolding scene of a mother hunting for her young through the uber-focus of his SNYPEX Knight D-ED 8×50 Binoculars.
“Ahem, yes”, he says with a self-confident rumble in his throat, “I am boasting…but what’s a little brag between birders, right?”
Voted the best birding binoculars of 2017, these bad boys give the user the vivid sense that they are literally sharing the sky with this predatory bird as it slides through the open air. “I see the hunger in her eyes, and the urgency she feels because of the fact that her nest is vulnerable while she is out hunting”, says our fanatic (who will remain nameless).
According to BestBinocularsReviews.com, there are some important pointers to ensuring that you select the correct pair of binoculars for your bird-watching escapades:
Firstly, if you’re after one pair of binoculars that can serve all your bird-watching needs, don’t go more powerful than 8x magnification. Why? Well, BBR gives us 3 good reasons…
- A Wider field of view to enable easier location of the bird you’re watching without scanning
- Better image stability: a 10x magnification is more shaky because it amplifies every hand movement as much as the image you’re trying to view.
- Greater eye relief: If you wear glasses or sunglasses while viewing, 8x magnification still provides a high definition picture; it is difficult to find 10x magnification binoculars that enable a high definition picture when wearing glasses.
So do yourself a favor and get your eyes on a pair of these before you arrive Heritage Harbor Vacation Rentals or any other highly rated accommodation in Starved Rock Country.
Tip #3 – Remember where this mighty raptor has come from, and do your part to conserve it
You may remember that, in 1972, Bald Eagles were regarded as nearing extinction in America. Having become the icon of US-pride from 1782 until that time, the raptor was dwindling in numbers owing to mankind’s culling them to protect the fishing industry, and using pesticides that would ultimately poison these masters of the sky rather than the rodents that they preyed upon.
Since that time, when DDT (toxic pesticide) was banned, the Bald Eagle has made a triumphant comeback – much to the pleasure of every patriotic American.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service continues to manage the Bald Eagle population with great diligence and care. It also urges the public to remember that, while it is no longer endangered, the Bald Eagle is still very much protected under US law. We all share the responsibility of ensuring that they are undisturbed and unharmed when we venture out to capture them photographically or visually in their natural habitats.
We’ll keep an eye out for you! Don’t miss the flight of the Bald Eagle in Starved Rock Country this February!
The Heritage Harbor Team
As new shoots emerge and trees deck themselves out in a canopy of green, you’ll be more likely to see your neighbors and friends out and about being active. Why the trend? May is the month for wellness. It doesn’t need to be on any calendar as it is a natural change that happens with the warming temperatures and inviting natural foliage. How can you take advantage of this magical month? Heritage Harbor has a few suggestions for getting outdoors and sampling the best May has to offer.
Need a Few Suggestions?
Dr. Oz recently mentioned that May is a great month to work on fitness and wellness goals and just enjoying being outdoors in nature. Nicer weather and longer days allow one and all to head outside for a stroll, run or game of tennis. In addition, spring produce kicks in with freshly-grown seasonal produce, such as chives, ramps and other zesty herbs for additional color, flavor and nutrient boost to dishes. Can you hear the call? The Great Outdoors beckons.
90 minutes from Chicago, the Illinois River awaits, cresting along Heritage Harbor and Starved Rock Country. For visitors and residents of Heritage Harbor, take part in a range of activities, all at your own pace.
• Take a stroll or run along the Harbor Walk. Spy the arrival and activity of a number of seasonal birds including the American White Pelican. Conservation Cove is home to a diverse array of Ottawa’s wildlife.
• Get an early start on your day and enjoy a full day of water activities. Quest, located at the marina, offers kayak and stand up paddleboard rentals. Grab a quick bite at the Marina store and head out for a day of fun in the sun.
• Explore the I&M Canal Trail, a part of American History, connecting parks, historic sites and museums in a 61-mile attraction.
• Get your group together for a playful game of sand volleyball and enjoy the view, a satisfying meal and your favorite brew down at bar and grill, The Red Dog Grill. Loser buys.
Heritage Harbor and the Ottawa area offers activities to promote an active lifestyle. The choice is yours. Gear up for these local area happenings this May: the Starved Rock Marathon and the Virtual Marathon. Take part in hiking, photography activities and more at Starved Rock State Park and Matthiesen State Park. Book a stay at Heritage Harbor to indulge in all of the May action. A range of comfortable residences restore and rejuvenate after a day of doing and exploring the Ottawa area.
Ottawa: Fun for History Buffs in March!
If you are looking for something to do this weekend, check out Ottawa, Illinois and Heritage Harbor where we have a nice variety of activities year-round. Once you come here, you’ll always be coming back for more! We’re just 90 minutes away from Chicago, which makes us convenient, but we’re far enough away, so it seems like a world away from the big city. You and your family will grow closer as you get away from all the distractions, and enjoy what our beautiful town and land has to offer.
The Reddick Mansion
In downtown Ottawa is a historic treasure just waiting to be discovered. The Reddick Mansion is a pre-Civil War mansion that witnessed the first of the Lincoln-Douglas Debates in Washington Square across the street. The Reddick Mansion is open for tours Wednesday through Monday from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. The last tour of the day starts at 2:15 PM. The cost is $8 for adults, $4 for youths, and kids four years old and under are free, making this an affordable and educational outing for the entire family.
When you take your family to the Reddick Mansion, you’re getting a glimpse back through history–right back to the era before and during the Civil War. This mansion is the pride of Ottawa, which everyone should see at least once. Your little ones will be fascinated by the history–and you will be too!
Ottawa Historical and Scouting Heritage Museum
Do you have a child in Scouts? Maybe you or your spouse was a Boy Scout back in the day? Ottawa is the home to the Historical and Scouting Heritage Museum. William Dickson Boyce, one of the founders of the Boy Scouts of America, lived right here in Ottawa. This museum holds the Loan Scout Memory Lodge collections as well as the extensive English Scouting collections of Robert Baden-Powell.
Not so interested in the collections? There are hiking trails for adults and kids alike as well as a geocache trail. Geocaching is hot and with a GPS, you can go on a scavenger hunt for the geocaches. Everyone in your family will love discovering the buried treasure. The cost is three dollars for adults and two dollars for youth. They’re open Thursday through Monday, 10 AM to 4 PM. You can find out more and get information here.
Insert photo of trolley. Caption: Trolley tours are a great way to see the area! Under caption: Photo via Starved Rock State Park Facebook Page
Sit back and enjoy a trolley tour! Starved Rock trolleys, Ranger and Bella, make it easy for adults with small children and those with restricted mobility to see the best of the area during their first time to the Starved Rock Lodge. Historical and seasonal tours are offered. Don’t miss the Waterfalls and Canyon tours this spring! Special event tours can be arranged on the Bella trolley, set up for 22 guests and a platform for bride and groom photos. Call (815) 220-7386 for tickets and schedule information.
Starved Rock Photography Club
The Starved Rock Photography Club will help you get in touch with your creative side. Snap away with a group of fellow photographers, both amateur and professional, at this monthly photography walk. Enhance your skills and brainstorm new ideas during informal conversations with other members. Beginners are welcome. Club leader, Jack Pienta, meets with the group every 4th Saturday of the month at 9am at the rear of the large Starved Rock Lodge parking lot. Hikes will involve a hike in one of three area parks and carpooling may be necessary. Annual memberships are available at $25 and include the annual cookout and a club t-shirt. Call (815) 220-7354 for additional details.
As you can see, Ottawa has plenty of activities for both the adventurous and the comfort seekers. While you’re at it, don’t forget to check out Heritage Harbor. Located about an hour from Chicago and minutes from Starved Rock, Heritage Harbor offers riverside vacation rental cottages, vacation homes, a marina, and a restaurant. It is the perfect base camp for a vacation or second home.
Waterfront Living on the Illinois River
“We had the sky up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made or only just happened.”- Mark Twain
Isn’t it time to sit back and gaze up at the night, with the sounds of lapping water at your feet? There is not anything worth more than that peace found while surrounded by the glories of nature.
The Illinois River affords one and all the means of an escape from the ordinary and a return back to oneself. Find out more about this great river and how it has served and continues to serve the people of Illinois.
Some Illinois River History
There is nothing like simply starting at the beginning. The lifeblood of the Illinois ecosystem was formed when glaciers melted and trickled down the valley over 15,000 years ago. The river has seen its share of the first inhabitants and explorers with a rich history of Native American settlement and French exploration. The Illinois River has been a source of natural beauty, transportation, recreation and commerce since the beginnings of human settlement along its embankments. In the past, steamboat captains have made their way from Illinois to Mississippi and then to New Orleans. Today, personal boats and craft can see many of the sites our forefathers did while meandering down the Illinois River.
For those that set out for a drive along the Illinois River, the Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway is one of only 126 routes in 44 states to be designated as one of America’s Byways. The route need to offer one or more of six qualities to qualify—nature, scenery recreation, culture, history and archaeology. This byway includes routes on both sides of the river, connecting over 100 nature-based and historical destinations within the stunning valley.
The river and valley formed thousands of years ago can be viewed by land or by water and serves as a gateway to the rich history and nature of Illinois.
The Illinois River Today
Pleasure-seekers turn to the Illinois River to unwind. The Illinois River has seen development that embraces the requirements and small luxuries of modern living, while honoring the beauty of the area. Heritage Harbor in Ottawa is one such place. The state of the art marina has over 450 boat slips and includes access to boat ramps and dry stack storage. Those scheduling a weekend trip or longer can take care of all of their needs at the ship’s store and marina-side bar & grill, The Red Dog Grill.
Its location on the Starved Rock pool of the Illinois River offers visitors world-class boating amenities and picturesque waterfront properties. The area is near two major interstate highways and is only 90 minutes from downtown Chicago, making it a convenient escape from the everyday.
Heritage Harbor Conservation Cove is a sheltered area nestled within Ottawa that provides the perfect spot to spy the wildlife that abounds in the area. Visitors can see egrets, herons and even migrations of the American White Pelican, a species of bird that recently faced the possibility of extinction.
It is here at Heritage Harbor that you can open yourself to the vast beauty of the area and take a wondrous boating tour akin Huck Finn, but with a few more luxuries. Heritage Harbor, the Ottawa area and beyond are yours to explore for those with the inclination and the imagination. Contact a friendly associate for more information on the best loops and residences at (815) 433-5000.
Voted the best attraction in the state by the Illinois Office of Tourism, Starved Rock State Park is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway or extended vacation.
The park will take your breath away with its waterfalls, towering trees, canyons and bluffs overlooking the scenic Illinois River Valley. In addition to its incredible sights, the area is also ripe for a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, boating, bicycling and fishing. For a place to stay during your trip, Heritage Harbor Ottawa has a number of cozy vacation rental properties waiting for you to make your home away from home.
Located fewer than 15 miles from Starved Rock State Park, Heritage Harbor keeps you close to your destination and offers additional adventures in the historic town of Ottawa. When you’re not trekking through trails at Starved Rock State Park, you can explore the shops and restaurants in downtown Ottawa or take advantage of Heritage Harbor’s full-service marina, boat launch and swimming pool. Your vacation rental in Heritage Harbor Ottawa offers more than just a place to sleep; it will enhance your visit and make the trip one to remember.
Rental properties are available for families of many different sizes, whether your trip is for just you and your significant other or the whole family with kids. Couples or small families can choose the Huck Finn’s Hideout, Under the Tuscan Sun or Lazy Days houses, all accommodating up to four people in their deluxe one- or two-bedroom layouts. Rental homes and cottages are also available for large families and groups. Riverside Reflections, Stone’s Throw, Toes in the Water and King’s Cottage each hold up to six or seven people. The largest rental available, Eddie’s Hideaway, holds a maximum of 11 people, with a deluxe two-bedroom loft setup.
While the rental homes vary in size, all of them feature a full-service kitchen, a Keurig coffee maker for your morning boost, in-unit laundry, an electric fireplace, cable TV, free WiFi and a welcome kit to ensure your time on the property goes as smoothly as possible. Two of Heritage Harbor’s vacation rentals, Riverside Reflections and Stone’s Throw, are also pet-friendly houses so your furry friend can make the trip along with the rest of the family.
To start planning your Starved Rock adventure and stay at Heritage Harbor Ottawa, visit the Vacations Rentals page for more information, or call 815-433-5000 to check availability and make a reservation.
Now that you’ve flipped the calendar to October, it’s time to start planning for Halloween. With haunted houses, pumpkin carving, ghost stories and hayrides, Ottawa, IL is full of events to give you the best Halloween thrills and chills. Whether you’re looking for a scream-inducing fright fest or light-hearted activities for the whole family, you’ll find the perfect event around town. Here are just a few of the Halloween events to mark on your calendar this year.
In addition to the breathtaking sights and stunning fall colors, the countryside of Starved Rock also promises amazing hunting opportunities this time of year.
Ottawa and the surrounding Starved Rock Country are home to a variety of wildlife and natural habitats that are a hunter’s dream. Deer, turkey and game bird hunting are the most common in the area, and all have open seasons during the fall months.
Both deer and turkey hunting are incredibly popular around Ottawa and Starved Rock Country, especially bow hunting. In fact, Catlin Park, Ottawa’s 333-acre county park, is one of the best bow hunting locations in LaSalle County. The park is riddled with woods, hills and lakes, making it the ideal habitat for animals during hunting season. With Catlin Park less than 10 miles from Heritage Harbor Ottawa, hunters don’t have to waste time driving a long distance to their hunting location. They can head to Catlin Park early in the morning, set up their tree stands while the sun rises and spend the whole day waiting for the perfect game.
Bow hunting for deer, turkey and other game in Catlin Park and the rest of Illinois is allowed from Oct. 1 through Jan. 17, except during firearm hunting season, which takes place Nov. 21–23 and Dec. 4–7. Information on permits, game limits and tree stand requirements for hunting in Catlin Park can be found here.
If you prefer hunting waterfowl (geese and ducks) over deer or turkey, the hunting season opens mid-October and runs through January in northern and central Illinois. Ottawa is right on the border of the North Zone and Central Zone so hunting north of I-80 and west of I-39 is in the North Zone, while south and east are in the Central Zone. Be sure to check herefor each zone’s specific duck, Canada goose, snow goose and white-fronted goose hunting dates.
A second home or vacation rental in Heritage Harbor Ottawa will allow you to spend an extended weekend or even full weeks at a time enjoying the great outdoors and hitting all of Ottawa’s popular hunting spots. With Catlin Park a short distance away and Starved Rock and Mattiessen state parks nearby as well, you’ll have plenty of ground to cover during your stay.
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